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The one thought that causes the most weight gain

Posted by Linda R.

In the 25 years that I have been an eating disorder specialist, I have found that one thought is responsible for more excess eating than any other. It goes something like this: "Oops! I just ate more than I intended. That ruins the whole day. Oh, well, since the whole day is ruined, I might as well keep eating." The vast majority of my clients report thinking like this at least some of the time. The amount of eating they do after thinking this way may constitute half or even all of their excess eating. What's the solution? Stop the black-and-white thinking! If you eat more than you intended, tell yourself, "Well, I didn't mean to eat cookie, that but I can stop now. It was just a small slip and I can get back on track." This intervention is really powerful. Though it may be paradoxically more satisfying in the moment to beat yourself up and then binge, the aftereffects (guilt and overweight) are miserable. Instead, coach yourself through the slip and prevent it from becoming a binge. Try this out for a month and you'll see what I mean!
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